What's Metamemory? - Exploring your mind - Deepstash
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What is Memory?

What is Memory?

Memory is the faculty of the brain by which data or information is encoded, stored, and retrieved when needed.

It's a cognitive skill that allows us to have identity , learn, store memories, and consolidate or reinforce the imprint of what we’ve already learned.

Knowing in detail how memory works can help us retain information better, as well as optimize this skill.


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According to a study by González (1997) titled “Metamemory and learning of texts”, metamemory is defined as "The knowledge and control that a person has over the functioning of their memory".

Metamemory is the knowledge we have of our own memory. This also includes the knowledge of the different phases of memory, which are:

  • Codification
  • Storage
  • Retrieval

Metamemory doesn’t only include the knowledge of memory but also its control and mastery.


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Memory and metamemory

As we see, metamemory encompasses the knowledge of one’s own memory, in the same way that metalanguage constitutes the knowledge of one’s own language, to name but two examples. To get the best out of memory, we often resort to so-called mnemonic* rule strategies.

*Any learning technique that aids information retention or retrieval (remembering) in the human memory.


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How to promote metamemory?

Metamemory, like memory, can be improved. In what way? Firstly, by learning everything we need to know about how memory works. This includes knowing how the brain operates at each stage of the memory process.

What happens when we encode a memory? when we store and retrieve it? when changes occur in the brain, and how our emotions influence it?

All this can be learned by reading and studying about human memory.


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